AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA’S PUBLIC INSIGHT NETWORK PARTNERS WITH NATIONAL LIBRARY GROUPS, LAUNCHES LIBRARIUS

Contact: Dawn Lindgren
(651) 290-1113

AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA’S PUBLIC INSIGHT NETWORK PARTNERS WITH NATIONAL LIBRARY GROUPS, LAUNCHES LIBRARIUS

(ST. PAUL, Minn.) May 5, 2011ñ American Public Media’s Public Insight Network (PIN) announced today the launch of LibrariUS, an online engagement project that explores the information, social and civic needs of communities through the lens of local libraries. The project is available to any public library, via embedding the LibrariUS widget on its web site. LibrariUS is a shared collaboration between APM, The American Library Association (ALA) and its Public Library Association (PLA) division.

“This is a common sense collaboration of two professions that are undergoing profound change as they adapt to the digital age,” said Linda Fantin, director, Network Journalism and Innovation, American Public Media. “Journalists and librarians provide people with information they need to understand the world and to improve it. LibrariUS leverages technology to inform that work while also giving citizens a meaningful way to participate by sharing their insights about how their needs and those of their community are changing.”

Through LibrariUS, library patrons share stories about how and why they use the library, and see their insights mapped in real time. Patrons also become sources for journalists on future news stories via the PIN, a growing network of more than 100,000 citizen sources who add context, depth and relevance to news stories produced in newsrooms around the country.

“Libraries serve people of all ages, ethnicities, income and education levels, as well as people who live in rural communities or do not have Internet access in their homes,” Fantin said. “These are often the same people whose voices are under-represented in the news media, something we aim to remedy with PIN.”

The ALA and PLA have encouraged tens of thousands of librarians throughout the United States to participate, and APM has reached out to the more than 700 librarians and staff who are part of PIN.

“The more we can talk about libraries and the many ways they impact and improve our communities, the better,” said Audra Caplan, president, PLA. “Participation in the LibrariUS program offers library users an exciting opportunity to become a part of APM’s Public Insight Network-ensuring libraries remain at the forefront of the media, and therefore, public consciousness.”

To learn how you or your library can participate, visit publicinsightnetwork.org/librarius.

About American Library Association
The American Library Association is the voice of America’s libraries and the millions of people who depend on them. With more than 63,000 members, ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and represents all types of libraries and library staff.

About American Public Media
American Public Media is one of the largest producers of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio reaching 16 million listeners via nearly 800 radio stations nationwide each week. Programs include A Prairie Home Companion, Marketplace, Performance Today, The Splendid Table, Being, American RadioWorks and many others.

About the Public Insight Network
Founded in 2003, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network has more than 100,000 sources around the country who inform reporting at more than three dozen media partners, including Minnesota Public Radio, The Miami Herald, The Center for Public Integrity, WNYC public radio in New York and KQED public radio in San Francisco among others. Demographic information and insights are stored in a secure, searchable database, and Public Insight journalists search the database for knowledgeable sources, and query sources to test hunches, identify trends and support production of major projects.

About Public Library Association
The Public Library Association is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.